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BFI awarded £3 million for new film academy


Story by Jack Foley

THE British Film Institute (BFI) has been awarded £3 million by the Department for Education (DfE) to set up a new film academy for young people.

The money, which will be awarded over the next three years, is aimed at 16-19 year olds and will see the BFI working with schools, colleges and other organisations to identify and develop aspiring young filmmakers and those wanting to enter the industry who have exceptional levels of creative talent, technical skills, commitment and the tenacity to become successful film professionals.

The DfE announcement was made just before the launch of the Henley Report on Tuesday, February 28, which focuses on cultural education as a whole in England – theatre, art, dance, music, as well as film.

Amanda Nevill, BFI CEO, commented: “Talent is universal but opportunity is not and the new film academy initiative is all about creating greater access to more opportunities for young people to develop their skills and talent.

“British film and filmmaking talent is world class – you just have to look at our success at the box office and the awards season to see it. But we must not lose the momentum.

“We are really excited to be able to establish this new academy programme as it dovetails neatly with the continued investment we and our partners are putting into making sure film is at the heart of education.”

The DfE funding is to run the academy programme year round in local and regional centres across England, thereby enabling the BFI to work with its partners to deliver the programme UK-wide.

The news comes as a new report on the BBC reveals that investment by businesses in the arts has dropped to its lowest level for seven years, despite a government drive to encourage philanthropy.

Companies gave £134 million in the financial year 2010/11, according to Arts and Business, £10m down on the previous year.

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